EOCCC Math Inquiry Project


The Intent of this User Guide is to provide an overview of the Math Inquiry team’s experiences as they collaborated on the lesson sequences provided here. We want to share with you our planning process, reflections and testimonials in the hopes that you will also begin to design an effective 300 minute lesson sequence for your own classroom.


Beginning in the 2016-2017, grade 1-8  teachers in Ontario were mandated to protect 300 minutes per five-day cycle to focus on effective mathematics instruction. This focused instructional time provided the opportunity for educators to nurture a community and culture of mathematics practice and problem solving, both of which help students develop their skills. In addition, educators are expected to continue to embed mathematics skills across all areas of the curriculum, as they have done in the past. PPM 160





  • Project launched in the summer of 2017.
  • Teams of grade level teachers selected from across the EOCCC area.





  • Intent of the project was to build on and enhance the Ministry of Education’s existing Planning Guide for 60 minutes of effective mathematics learning, teaching and assessment and sample lesson sequences.
  • Teams planned for 300 minutes of mathematics instruction.

300 Minute Block Jessica Mulhall discusses what it was like planning a 300 minute lesson sequence.






  • Deepen our understanding of professional learning models that support planning for effective mathematics assessment and instruction.
  • Co-develop models for cross-strand and interdisciplinary planning.
  • Co-plan effective learning that focuses on the curriculum.
  • Develop models that are based on, and responsive to, the needs of students.
  • Co-create a digital resource that provides artifacts of our learning to model and illustrate effective mathematics assessment and instruction.





  • The flexibility for each teacher, you can plan the sequence on your own, with a team.
  • Flexibility also applies to the changes each teacher can make throughout the sequence.  As students work through the lessons adaptations can be made to suit the teacher and each individual learner. For example lessons can be lengthened or shortened, activities can be made into games, lessons can be created for the Smartboard, and learning stations or small group instruction can be developed following large group instruction.
  • The learning blocks make the experiences in mathematics more meaningful for the students.  Scaffolded learning experiences will resonate with students while creating mathematical connections.
  • The sequence and template work together to support the development of curriculum based, differentiated lessons supported with the knowledge, and the interests and experiences of students.





  • Know your learners and the learning
    • Guiding Questions
    • Diagnostic assessments
    • Identifying trends in data (e.g., EQAO)
  • Getting started varying entry points, start from where students are at in their learning
  • Plan for differentiated instruction and assessment
  • Facilitate, assess and respond in a co-learning environment
  • Reflect on impact of assessment and instruction to determine next steps
  • Share process and plan new sequence with a colleague


Getting Started Anna Wolynice discusses how she uses the Ministry of Education's Guides to Effective Instruction in Mathematics when she begins to design a lesson sequence for her classroom.Benefits of Lesson Sequence Anna Wolynice shares some of the benefits ofusing the Lesson Sequence in her classroom.  






What worked well?


  • The "Action" portion of each days' lesson allowed the students to be fully engaged, while providing them with hands on learning opportunities to demonstrate their learning.
  • The minds on generated discussion and the action tasks were rich tasks that motivated the students to learn. They really wanted to show their thinking using various methods.
  • Collaborating with another grade 9 math teacher
  • Having a writing partner who taught the same grade.


What was Challenging?


  • Some of the estimated times during specific portions of the lesson had to be adjusted.
  • Deciding which activities to use and which to discard. Also the best sequence of the activities.
  • Going through the new Kindergarten Curriculum Document to determine the background knowledge they would have coming into grade one.


Did your specific grade level impact your planning and teaching? If so, how?


  • Yes, we first had to determine what some of "big ideas" were in grade 4/5 Geometry and Measurement strands. We then brained stormed how we could link these "big ideas" to the Overall All and Specific expectations from these grades. We finally identified Number Sense expectations, from these grade levels which we could integrate into our lessons.
  • Yes we decided to use expectations from both grades and planned activities accordingly.
  • Yes we wanted to make it appropriate for that level
  • Abosolutely! With the students being so young, we knew that the lessons had to be brief and full of hands-on opportunities to demonstrate their learning.


What was your starting point?  How did you identify this starting point?


  • We started with the big ideas, then linked them to overall and specific expectations in 2 strands (Geometry and Measurement). We then tied in as many Number Sense expectations as we could. We then planned activities where the students could demonstrate their learning.
  • We knew that proportional reasoning seemed to be a trouble area for our students based on experience and EQAO data and school improvement data.
  • We started with the idea of getting 9 applied math students to appreciate math and get over the “I can’t do math” feeling.
  • We started by reflecting on particular areas of struggle for our students and agreed on a big idea we would like to foster.


What omissions/additions or edits did you make in your lesson sequence?


  • Changes in some time allotments.
  • We changed the order of our days or altered the tasks slightly to make it easier for the students to understand how one pathway led to another.
  • Changed tasks to fit group, lessons spanned more than 5 days.
  • We decided to record ourselves reading the word problems so the students could work more independently.


What resources did you use to support planning?


  • Marian Small, consulted other EOCC projects that had been done previously
  • Ministry of Education resources - monologues, Marian Small style questions
  • Websites and the big ideas.
  • We used page 13 in The Effective Guide to Mathematics K-6 (Volume 5) to pre-assess and group our students by their learning needs. We then primarily used The Effective Guide to Mathematics 1-3 Number Sense and Numeration for our lesson sequence. We also accessed digital tools from the OERB and Mathies.


How did it impact your planning for 300 minutes of math instruction?


  • I was able to address more expectations than usual in my instruction from several math strands. Basically it helped me to spiral my math curriculum.
  • Most of the students were engaged to "perform" for other (cameras) to show their thinking. It was great having the resources to help with the planning. Being able to plan with a colleague was a fantastic experience. As teachers, we don't often have the opportunity to plan with a colleague unless we take the initiative ourselves. The opportunity meant we needed to set to work immediately on a plan, but it also allowed for discussion of different practices. That was very beneficial.
  • More activities and hands on
  • Planning for the 300 minutes automatically builds in extension opportunities for those students who get the concept first and are looking for their next step. This provides the teacher with the time to focus on those who need a little extra time without being distracted by the early finishers.


What words of wisdom would you share with teachers using this process. Please share any additional reflections you have related to the process?


  • Take the time to look for resources from EDUGAINS or key people like Marian Small. The tasks are rich and available. We don't need to be "reinventing the wheel." Become informed and familiar with 3 part lessons and how these can motivate and engage students in their mathematics learning.
  • It is important to give yourself permission to take the extra time you need to help students consolidate their learning. Take two days to do one day's lesson if that is what they need! Use the Effective Guides!!! They are truly one of the best resources we have available to us as teachers!



  Anna Wolynice discusses the impact that the EOCCC project has had on her teaching  Amanda Cameron, from RCCDSB discusses howthe EOCCC Math Inquiry Project has impactedteaching and learning in her classroom

Heather discusses why she wanted to get involved with the EOCCC project and factors that encouraged her  to rethink some of the ways she teaches. Heather and Amy discuss the impact that the EOCCC project has had on their practices